Do you ever blow up at your kids, then feel regretful after?
When you get to the point where you’re about to lose your cool, it feels like there’s no way to deny that urge.
It can often feel like you are stuck in a cycle of feeling angry/frustrated, yelling, feeling shame/guilt. This cycle can be hard to get out of if you don’t put a stop to it.
I’m going to share with you five things you can do, when you’re about to lose your cool, so that you can stop the “angry, yell, feel shame/guilt” cycle.
The tips I share below will not only help you lose your cool less, but they will also support a better relationship and connection with your kids. You will save emotional energy because you won’t be engaging in your negative emotions as much. You will also get back time that you spend disciplining and nagging your kids.
5 Things To Do When You Are About To Lose Your Cool
Take a 5 – 10 minute pause
This is my favorite trick, that’s why it’s at the top of this list!
When you feel your blood pressure rising, set your timer for 5-10 minutes. Then remind yourself that you don’t have to do anything until the timer goes off.
Once the timer goes off, you can decide if you want to address the situation that has you fired up, or leave it alone.
This trick easily saved me 10-15 minutes in the morning because I no longer interfered when my kids were fooling around instead of getting ready for school.
What I have found, is that in this time, the situation dissolves or I no longer feel the urge to interfere.
No matter the outcome of the situation, using the timer allows you to respond to your kids with intention, instead of being reactive.
Related: How To Be More Patient (As a Mom)
Ask yourself, “Is this really that big of a deal?”
When you feel frustrated because your kids aren’t listening to you, or doing something exactly as you would do it, check in with yourself.
Ask yourself the question, “Is this really that big of a deal?”
You can even go further and ask, “Will this be a big deal in 5 minutes? An hour from now? A year from now? 5 years from now?”
If you can take a step back and reevaluate your child’s behavior in this questioning framework, you may find that you don’t need to invest your emotions in the current situation.
Remove yourself or your child from the situation
I’ve had to put myself in a time out more than once when I’ve felt anger bubbling to the surface.
If you’re kids are old enough to be unattended, going to a space where you can shut the door and get some privacy gives you the opportunity to think about your reactions. Most of the time I end up crying and having a little pity party for myself instead of taking these emotions out on my kids.
Asking your child to go to their room, does the same thing and allows your child to reflect on what’s causing conflict.
Stay focused in the present moment
It’s normal to let your anger, frustration, and anxiety run away with you when you’re dealing with a situation that isn’t going the way you want it to.
However, if you can view the situation from the simplest of scenarios using only the facts, you allow yourself to stay in the present.
For example, let’s say your toddler starts hitting and grabbing toys away from another child. You start having thoughts like, “If my child keeps hitting, this mom isn’t going to want to hang out with me anymore!” or “This parent is going to think my child is mean and that I’m a bad parent.”
The reality is toddler’s hit and grab toys from other kids. It’s what they do. They don’t have the skillset yet to use their words, so they use their body and actions.
If you can look at this scenario in basic facts like this:
- Child uses hand to touch other child
- Child uses hands to take toy from other child
- Child is crying
Then you can stay present and let your anxiety rest. You can address the situation without having so much emotion involved. You don’t have to believe your story about what hitting could mean for your child’s future.
Check in with yourself to see if you’re engaging in a power struggle?
I’ve found that conflict with my kids often arises when I am not getting my way. I didn’t always recognize this because for a long time I just believed my way was always the better way. Plus, I was the mom so what I said goes. Does this sound familiar?
Recently, I discovered that most of the frustration and aggravation I felt came from simple requests of my kids that turned into power struggles. Once the conflict started, it was hard for me to stop without getting my way. My behavior was similar to a child’s.
Taking part in power struggles, and trying to control everything, drives a wedge between myself and my kids. This behavior certainly isn’t creating a respect and connection.
Similar to #2 mentioned above, check in with yourself and see if you are engaging in a power struggle, or trying to have full control of the situation.
If it’s more a power/control thing, see what happens if you compromise with your kids, or just let them win. I bet the outcome will be surprising.
What Will You Do Next Time You’re About To Lose Your Cool?
Just to recap, here are five things you can do when you feel the urge to lose your cool:
- Take a 5 – 10 minute pause
- Remove yourself or your child from the situation
- Ask yourself, “Is really that big of a deal?”
- Stay focused in the present moment
- Check in with yourself to see if you are engaging in a power struggle?
When you start using these tips, you will enjoy parenting more, and foster a better a relationship with your kids. You’re also teaching your child how to handle emotions that feel reactive.
But remember, you are only human. You’ll still have days when you feel bad bout how you handled a situation. Don’t beat yourself up. Instead, give yourself grace and learn from the situation. Try again the next time you feel a frustrated and angry. What tips will you be using next time you feel like you are about to lose your cool? Let me know in the comments below.
**Are you sick of feeling so angry and yelling at your kids? Check out my new blog series: 6 Steps To Go From An Angry To Happy + Confident Mom**